Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith was suspended for five games without pay by the NHL for elbowing Vancouver's Daniel Sedin in the head in a game Wednesday.

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Elbow to Sedin’s head

gets Keith suspended

Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith was suspended for five games without pay by the league Friday for elbowing Vancouver Canucks forward Daniel Sedin in the head.

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Keith lunged at Sedin in the neutral zone in the first period of Chicago’s 2-1 overtime victory Wednesday, hitting Sedin in the head. Sedin didn’t have the puck at the time.

Keith, 28, was given a minor penalty for elbowing. The suspension will cost him $149,688.

“We respect the league’s decision and move forward from this point on and try to renew a playoff position and secure the highest seeding possible,” Canucks assistant general manager Laurence Gilman said. “That being said, our priority, obviously, is Daniel’s health and well-being.”

Sedin, 31, missed the Canucks’ 2-1 victory Thursday night in Dallas because of a suspected concussion. He has 30 goals and 37 assists in 72 games this season. Of Sedin’s condition, Gilman said, “That’s not something we’re divulging to the public.”

Keith, the Norris Trophy winner as the league’s best defenseman two seasons ago, had a telephone hearing with league disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan.

“Regardless of Keith’s assertion that the intent on this play was to impede Sedin’s progress as opposed to a retaliation for an earlier hit, Keith’s hit was still dangerous, reckless and caused injury,” said Shanahan, adding he took into consideration Keith had not been suspended previously in his seven seasons.

Keith’s hit on Sedin came about five minutes after Sedin’s unpenalized check of Keith into the boards.


Family says Muamba

faces long recovery

Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba, 23, faces “a long period of recovery” after his on-field cardiac arrest despite a strong improvement since his collapse during an English FA Cup match against Tottenham last Saturday, family members said.

Muamba’s father and fiancée released a statement thanking fans, players and medical staff for their support.

“Even though Fabrice has made great progress over the last couple of days, he is still in intensive care and still has a long period of recovery ahead,” Marcel Muamba and Shauna Magunda said.


Pettitte likely to testify

Federal prosecutors in the Roger Clemens perjury trial plan to have pitcher Andy Pettitte of the New York Yankees testify about his own use of human growth hormone.

Prosecutors spelled out plans for Pettitte in court papers outlining evidence the government intends to introduce that shows many major-league baseball players used performance-enhancing drugs.

Clemens, 49, denies lying when he told Congress he didn’t use performance-enhancing drugs.


Azarenka triumphs

Defending champion Victoria Azarenka of Belarus beat Michaella Krajicek of the Netherlands 6-3, 7-5 in her opening match at the Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne, Fla.

Azarenka, ranked No. 1 in the world, is 24-0 this year and her start is the best since Martina Hingis won her first 37 matches in 1997.

“I’m not really thinking about numbers, the streaks, whatever,” Azarenka told media. “It’s your job to count; mine is to play tennis.”


• Some tennis matches during this year’s London Olympics are likely to be played under the lights and under the roof on Centre Court at Wimbledon.

Matches won’t start after 9 p.m. or last past 11 p.m.

• Austrian tennis player Daniel Koellerer, 28, became the first player banned for life for match-fixing, losing his appeal at sport’s highest court — the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland.

He was found guilty of violations from October 2009 to July 2010.

Marje Everett, chief executive officer of Hollywood Park racetrack in Inglewood, Calif., from 1985 to 1991, died Friday at her West Los Angeles home. She was 90.

Everett was the daughter of Benjamin Lindheimer, who owned Arlington Park and Washington Park in Illinois.

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